Giles Scott

Light wind medal race for Finn Gold Cup finale

Written by RYA | 29 November 2015

Wright finishes on a high with second in the medal race; Scott awarded third Finn Gold Cup

Ed Wright secured a top eight finish on the closing day of Finn Gold Cup racing in Takapuna on Sunday (29 November), while Giles Scott could sail a stress-free medal race having secured event victory a day in advance.

Bournemouth’s Wright, who won the World Championship title in 2010, finished second in the medal race to elevate his overnight position one place to eighth overall, while Scott finished the final ten-boat race in eighth, already safe in the knowledge that he’d be taking the esteemed Gold Cup home with him again after a dominant display on the Hauraki Gulf this week.

With a light wind forecast for the sixth and final day of competition, there was some initially some doubt as to whether the fleet would see any racing at all on Sunday.

The one scheduled race for those outside of the top ten came to nothing in shifty conditions and a strong tide, but the race team managed to get the medal racers underway in the 6-8 knot mid-afternoon breeze.

Wright hailed it his ‘best result of the week’, finishing second in the finale after a penalty at the start left him at the back of the pack and fighting.

“I wanted to go out and win the race and also keep an eye on the guys that I needed to beat,” said Wright afterwards.

“I wasn’t going to take them out, but I wanted to go and have a good race.”

“It was pretty light. I had a penalty at the start which was a bit upsetting but it just made me work a little harder and I got through to second in the end.”

“I’d kind of geared up everything towards a windy regatta,” Wright reflected, having started the regatta with the intention of adding a world title to his 2010 crown.

“I didn’t really want to focus too much on the light winds and they’re not predominant here. That’s probably a mistake I made there, but I sailed pretty well in the light early on in the week, in the medium I struggled. In the one big shift per beat scenarios I was struggling to pin those down.

“My downwind speed wasn’t as good as Giles’s, who was able to just sail really consistently. A great regatta for himself, sailing fast, starting well and picking through the downwinds. It was really impressive to see him so consistent in such tricky conditions,” said Wright of his teammate, who adds a third World Championship win to his victories in 2011 and 2014.

Portland-based Scott himself remarked that the medal race was held in tricky conditions. Already with gold in the bag, silver went to France’s Olympic bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert with Vasilij Zbogar overtaking the host’s Andrew Murdoch in the medal race to claim the third step of the podium.

“It was looking pretty marginal as to whether we’d race or not,” Scott said. “They had a good go of it for the fleet race this morning and they canned them early. We got out there and got our medal race in in 6-8 knots.

“[It was] pretty shifty conditions and it would have been a tricky one had the points been different, that’s for sure. It was quite nice to have it all squared away beforehand.”

“I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve been sailing. I managed to put together a very consistent series, which is kind of what this sort of racing is all about,” the 28-year-old continued. “We’re certainly in a good place, but I’m still very much aware that we’re geared towards Rio. It’s great to have won a third Gold Cup and it’s a huge honour, but ultimately it’s all about next year.”

Exmouth’s Ben Cornish, who trains alongside Scott, was happy to finish his second Finn Gold Cup in 13th place overall.

“I think my expectations probably got the better of me part way through the week. I put myself inside the top ten for a lot of the week so I raised my expectations and wanted to stay there,” the 24-year-old explained.

“I went out a little bit confident yesterday that I could stay there – maybe that was the right or wrong way of looking at it, but still it’s a good result. I’m happy to come away with that.”

“It’s huge benefit to be able to line up with Giles,” Cornish continued.

“We can see from his performance here that he’s ahead of the game. For me to be able to line up every day that we go training and compare where I’m at and how I’m progressing against him is invaluable and I think everyone in this boat park would want that opportunity. I’m really fortunate.”

James Hadden concluded what was his final Finn regatta in 46th.

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